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review 2018-11-12 17:55
WELCOME TO THE SHOW edited by Doug Murano
Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue - Somer Canon,Rachel Autumn Deering,Brian Keene,Jeff Strand,Matt Hayward,Glenn Rolfe,Patrick Lacey,Matt Serafini,Adam Cesare,Jonathan Janz,Kelli Owen,Doug Murano,Mary SanGiovanni,Robert Ford,Bryan Smith,Booth Tarkington,John Skipp,Alan M. Clark

 

WELCOME TO THE SHOW is a themed anthology with all of the stories revolving around, (or involving in some way), a rock n' roll club named The Shantyman. That's it! There's no hard thread connecting all the tales other than the club itself. That makes WELCOME TO THE SHOW different because there's no one "bad guy" to blame things on. In this case, the "bad guy" is anyone or anything the writer wanted them to be. In this regard, I think the authors involved had a lot more leeway as far as the direction each story would take and I think that resulted in an above average anthology as far as the quality AND the variety of the stories within.

 

I can't get into all of them here, because I don't want this review to be as long as the book itself, but the tales that stood out the most to me were:

 

WHAT SORT OF RUBE by Alan M. Clark was a perfect start to this book, providing a bit of history and setting the tone. (I've never read any of Clark's work before, but he's on my radar now.)

 

NIGHT AND DAY AND IN BETWEEN by Jonathan Janz. This story went in a totally different direction than what I had expected. Loved it!

 

TRUE STARMEN by Max Booth. I'm not sure that it was supposed to, but this story cracked me the hell me up! It's the first time THE SHANTYMAN hosted pod-casters instead of a band, and the results just made me laugh.

 

OPEN MIC NIGHT by Kelli Owen. The 27 Club-you know, those singers and musicians that never made it past that age? I thought this anthology would be a shoe-in for stories about that club, but this was the only one. I was glad because it made this tale stand out even more.

 

PARODY by Jeff Strand. Zany Chester and his plans to be the next Weird Al fizzle out before they even got started. (It's birdies, not bodies!) Chester had to go to a few back up plans, actually, and none of them were pretty.

 

DARK STAGE by Matt Hayward. This tale spoke to me in a personal way which made it that much more horrifying at the end.

 

A TONGUE LIKE FIRE by Rachel Autumn Deering. The end was NOT what I was expecting at the beginning. Usually I can see that coming..in this case I saw something coming, but not what I got. Well done!

 

Brian Keene's tale RUNNING FREE made me laugh at the premise before it got all serious. (A man trying to run himself to death by heart attack, thereby evading death from the cancer already running through his body. Come on, that's kind of funny! [All right, I know I'm messed up.]) Anyway, this story didn't go the way I thought it would and I loved how it tied into previous tales in this book.

 

WE SING IN DARKNESS by Mary SanGiovanni. This story had everything that I've come to expect from Mary's work. A terrifying future where music is banned is only the beginning.

 

I enjoyed this collection and even though it was a little uneven throughout, the variety and quality more than made up for that. I liked that everyone didn't have quite the same view was to what was going on at The Shantyman because that allowed for more creativity in the tales. Variety is the spice of life and all that, you know?

 

I read a lot of collections and anthologies over the course of a year and there is no doubt in my mind that WELCOME TO THE SHOW will be among the best I've read this year. For this reason, I highly recommend it!

 

You can get your copy here: WELCOME TO THE SHOW

 

*11.12.18 We are currently reading this book, along with most of the authors in the Horror Aficionados Group at Goodreads. Feel free to join us, read along, and ask questions of the writers, if you like! (Our read continues until the end of this month.) Here's a link: WELCOME TO THE SHOW at Horror Aficionados

 

**I bought this book with my hard earned cash and these opinions are my own.**

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text 2018-11-11 18:34
Reading progress update: I've read 367 out of 367 pages/[24 Festive Tasks - Door 4: Diwali (Book)]
Dark Light - Jayne Castle

Not sure if I'll be reviewing this book, so I'll be using this post as proof I completed the book task.

 

 

Book: Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)

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review 2018-11-11 14:25
Rump and Rexit: "Dark Sacred Night" by Michael Connelly
Dark Sacred Night - Michael Connelly



Connelly even tries to paper over it later, having one of his character vaguely muse about how stupid it was. This is just lazy writing. “Literary” novels can get away with a lot if the language is impressive enough. Crime novels are hard. If I was a crime fiction writer I'd want the fact that I could write Literary Crime Fiction hushed up. I wouldn’t want anyone to know I could turn into another John Banville…

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-11 13:19
Before Alien 3, There Was The Comics...
Aliens - The Essential Comics Vol.1 - Mark Verheiden

When James Cameron's Aliens was released in 1986, it was a sequel nobody knew that its better than the first. It was different, it was action-oriented and science-fiction has become a whole other level of entertainment. Fans wanted more and before 20th Century Fox release Alien 3 in 1992, there was the comics. At the height of it all, the 1980s and the 1990s comics has found a new kind of voice and with this new voice, they found a different kind of audience. So when Dark Horse Comics acquire the rights to release the sequel to Aliens in comic format, fans were thrilled and the released of Aliens issue 1 of 6 in July 1st, 1988, it became an instant bestseller! The rest, is history.

 

I have been waiting for a collection that I wanted to get my hands on as I am an Aliens fan (shamefully, not the biggest) and I love most of what Aliens are. The comic books, on the other hand, another matter. After I missed out my chance to collect the omnibus editions (which I had heard the binding was bad), the re-released of Aliens for this edition was something I look forward to. Aliens: The Essential Comics Vol.1 collects the first three books (OutbreakNightmare Asylum & Earth War) that became the trilogy of the sequel that follows up from Aliens. Sadly, I was disappointed by its execution. The story is mediocre. It wasn't any thing mind-blowing nor explore much of the universe that started from Ripley Scotts vision based on a story by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. It was... boring. The first, which was Outbreak, had more words that can drive any comic book readers to become in a confuse state manner. There are too many things going around - a cult form over the alien sentient, a military corporation wanting the xenomorphs as a weapon, Newt (all grown up) felt abandoned and betrayed and lost and declared insane, Hicks, fueled with hatred against the aliens that killed his friends and a whole other supporting characters, which later made a mess of the whole arch. Then, the philosophy involvement of what truly happen that relates to the first movie, became a downfall to the first book.

 

The sequel, which was called then Book II (Nightmare Asylum) is no different. The approach is a little less whining but the content is no different with the exception of the return of Ripley. Remember, this was still before Alien 3. Then came the final arch story with Earth War, and every thing else, falls apart. It wasn't a good closure but it was a closure that marks Mark Verheiden ending his trilogy. Art wise, only Denis Beauvais is worth mentioning here. I didn't like Mark A. Nelson and Sam Keith art work at all.

 

The Essential Comics Volume 1 edition collects the first three books. The binding of the book is firm but its also easily creates a line at the bind. Paper quality wise is smooth. Its a book that's has its quality to savor for. Overall, I do like the cover and the universe of Aliens, even though the writing is terrible. This is truly a comic book trade paperback dedicated to fans who want more of Aliens.

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text 2018-11-11 04:27
Reading progress update: I've read 282 out of 367 pages.
Dark Light - Jayne Castle

Stopping for now to continue watching Harrow on Hulu. Ioan Gruffudd, y'all.

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